Power of Personalization: How Brands Can Individualize Customer Experiences
While the trend of ordering food on an app for a stranger to pick up and deliver to your door existed before the pandemic, it wasn’t until the lockdowns that such habits became mainstream. Indeed, interactions between consumers and brands have become highly sophisticated with the increased digital adoption of the past few years. As a result, customers have come to see personalized experiences as the standard. New Epsilon research shows that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides such tailored experiences. Similarly, according to research from McKinsey, 71 percent of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, with 76 percent getting upset when that doesn’t happen.
Furthermore, consumers are getting savvier. Data shows that 63 percent of people will stop buying from brands that use poor personalization tactics. During the pandemic, consumers came to appreciate the convenience of day-of deliveries and curbside pickups, including the individualization of algorithm-powered product recommendations—and they do not want to relinquish these services. If anything, consumers want these interactions to be even more customized. Nevertheless, consistently achieving such tailored experiences is impossible without automation.
What Are Communication APIs?
Through advanced communication APIs, brands can use automated capabilities to drive personalized communication, tending to the customer’s needs in real time while improving the overall customer experience (CX). Communication APIs are cloud-based and layer on top of existing infrastructure, like a contact center. Sometimes referred to as programmable communications, communication APIs also help companies support omnichannel capabilities, allowing them to provide personalized (and consistent) experiences across different touchpoints, regardless of device or channel.
Another key characteristic of communication APIs is that they can easily integrate with existing infrastructure like apps and platforms. With communication APIs, brands can rapidly enhance their automation capabilities, adding and modifying features like chat, real-time voice, and messaging at scale, enabling millions of customer interactions without costly rip-and-replace procedures. These seamless integrations permit greater flexibility with omnichannel reporting and unlock a deeper understanding of customer data, which is pivotal to creating and sustaining personalized experiences.
Customer Data, the Fuel of Personalization
Surprisingly, 90 percent of consumers are willing to share their behavioral data with brands if it means a cheaper and easier shopping experience. However, too many organizations sit on heaps of underutilized, siloed data, unable to extract actionable insights to improve CX. Luckily, communication APIs aren’t one-trick ponies. Not only can brands leverage these automation tools to deliver greater convenience and real-time support, they can also extract valuable insights from consumer data. When backed by customer data collected across communication channels and integrated third-party applications, communication APIs can produce even more personalized interactions and experiences.
Often, best-in-class communication API platforms include KPI dashboards that help decision makers visualize many different types of customer interactions to identify patterns and potential issues. These analyses and on-demand reporting allow companies to understand CX at a granular level, tweaking strategies accordingly. Businesses can also configure leading platforms to send notifications and alerts directly to a manager’s inbox based on data thresholds and irregularities. However, despite consumers’ eagerness for more streamlined and personalized interactions, they still have security and privacy concerns. In fact, 87 percent of consumers would not do business with a company if they were weary of its security practices. It is paramount that companies exercise scrutiny when evaluating various communication API offerings.
Tailoring Communication for the Individual Customer with Automation
Communication automation has many use cases, individualizing customer interactions in ways humans cannot. For starters, businesses can capitalize on critical moments in the customer journey through data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation. With minimal effort, organizations can set up triggers that automatically send personalized messages, relevant content, and targeted promotions whenever certain conditions get met, increasing revenue and creating upsell opportunities.
Communication APIs also boost customer engagement via self-service capabilities, which give consumers more freedom to personalize how they interact with a brand. Customers can still effortlessly resolve their questions through virtual agents and chatbots at the most convenient time; even after operation hours and when no live agents are available. Also, self-service features can handle frequent inquiries and tasks, like password changes and billing payments, allowing human workers to focus on solving complex business challenges to create even more personalized customer experiences.
Furthermore, automated solutions enhance traditional processes, like scheduling an appointment. With automation powering every step of the customer journey, clients can call a company, interact with AI-powered assistants, and conveniently set up the meeting themselves. By freely tailoring CX as they see fit, consumers are satisfied, and the agent doesn’t have to waste their time handling a mundane task.
Seeing the Whole Scope of Communication Automation
When deployed throughout an enterprise, communication automation can result in massive resource and cost reductions, including improvements in efficiency and cross-department collaboration, which is especially useful for remote workforces. In particular, by automating notifications, managers don't have to inform teams of important updates – likewise, for IT personnel, automation replaces manual processes such as managing equipment and addressing trouble tickets. Businesses, therefore, shouldn’t limit automation and its power to personalize only to the customer experience but the entirety of their organization.
Brian Gilman is chief marketing officer at IntelePeer. Gilman isresponsible for the creation of global thematic and vertical campaigns that span across all IntelePeer products, services and solutions. Prior to IntelePeer, Gilman was vice president of product, solutions and integrated marketing at Vonage. Throughout his career, he has served in key leadership roles with top telecom, contact center, and collaboration platform providers such as Avaya, Dimension Data, Polycom and Vidyo, launching platforms, creating new brand identities, and developing marketing strategies.
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